Column: Immunization fail

Compared to rest of interior, Kootenay Boundary ranks at bottom

Trisha Shanks

Arrow Lakes News

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the average rate for a British Columbia two year old to be up-to-date on vaccines has varied from 65 per cent to 71 per cent. In the interior, the Kootenay Boundary rate is only 57 per cent.

Vaccinations are a controversial topic — of that there is no doubt. There are camps both for and against administering inoculation to children, which normally begins at the age of eight weeks.

A child routinely receives vaccinations beginning at two months of age and on a regular basis until they are six, according to a document available on the Interior Health website, BC Routine Immunization Schedule. It lists up to 25 vaccinations and boosters available to infants and children up to age six and then additional immunizations that are offered in Grade 6 and Grade 9. Shots are given at appointments or in school.

Immunizebc.ca lists five reasons for vaccinating: “Vaccines save lives, deadly diseases still pose a risk, travel can spread diseases quickly, vaccines are safe and effective, and vaccines protect everyone.”

Dr. Sue Pollock, medical health officer with Interior Health agrees. “We are seeing an increase in vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles. Before these vaccines are put on the market, there are extensive clinical trials and we continue to monitor their safety.”

Measles was thought to be eradicated in 2002, according to the World Health Organization, yet it’s been making a comeback. Pollock says that thanks largely to the vaccines’ effectiveness, people have been able to forget how severe and deadly these diseases can be.

She cites fear around autism and misinformation for the low adherence. “There is so much access to information, but there is a lot of misinformation on vaccines and their safety. Vaccines are safe and reliable and there is good, solid scientific research to back that up.”

Many parents are relying on “herd immunity” in order to keep their children from getting vaccinations because under this theory, the unvaccinated are protected from disease thanks to those who get their shots.

 

However, Pollock says, “In order for community immunity to be effective, more than 90 per cent of the population has to be vaccinated,” and not vaccinating should only be a consideration for those who cannot be immunized such as infants and people who are immune-compromised.

 

 

Just Posted

Power still out in northern Slocan valley

Massive storm blew through Kootenays, downing power lines and damaging structures

UPDATED: Hydro lines down near Moyie

Hydro lines affecting traffic on Highway 3 south of Moyie.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

Fernie mourns after fatal ammonia leak

The community of Fernie is coming together to support each other following a local tragedy.

VIDEO: Three workers identified as victims of Fernie ammonia leak

A local state of emergency will remain in effect until Oct. 24 after the leak at the ice rink

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read